A culinary celebration with Rising Stars in Seattle

Jason Wilson (right) from Crush The stars did, indeed, come out in Seattle last night. The Rising Stars, that is.

StarChefs.com hosted the Rising Stars Revue, which I’d already previewed, so yesterday at last came the opportunity to take part in the gala tasting of dishes by a baker’s dozen of the area’s finest chefs. Among them were three finalists as best chefs in the Northwest for the 2009 James Beard Foundation Awards: Maria Hines of Tilth, Ethan Stowell of Union (and many more in his growing empire of restaurants), and Jason Wilson of Crush. (The other nominees in the category are Joseba Jiménez de Jiménez of The Harvest Vine and Cathy Whims of Nostrana, in Portland. And I mentioned the other local nominees here.)

The scene at the Rising Stars RevueMy favorite dishes at Rising Stars? It’s tough to choose, as it was a night celebrating tremendous talent, but I’ll offer three picks. Stuart Lane of Cafe Juanita served up some luscious rabbit livers with caramelized onions, anchovy and currants. The beef carpaccio that Brian McCracken and Dana Tough of Spur plated was quite creative; they instructed me to roll it up with some tarragon, mustard leaf and fried bearnaise that all blended together beautifully. And I also enjoyed Jason Wilson’s butter-poached lobster with gnocchi and white truffle cream. Fatty goodness! Apparently I wasn’t alone, as Wilson won accolades for dish of the night when all the votes were tallied.

From drinks to entrees to dessert, the Rising Stars Revue was a wonderful showcase for some our brightest culinary figures. And a nice chance to mingle with familiar faces in the food world. I toast everyone who participated; we were all winners this particular evening.


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